Crime

Suspect in Ferguson Township hit-and-run hid in the woods, planned to flee state, police say

Man arrested from hit-and-run

Jacob Eshelman was arrested by Ferguson Township police on June 5, 2019, in connection to the hit-and-run of a cyclist on June 3.
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Jacob Eshelman was arrested by Ferguson Township police on June 5, 2019, in connection to the hit-and-run of a cyclist on June 3.

A Bedford County man was arrested Wednesday, two days after Ferguson Township police said he was involved in a hit-and-run crash that left a Stormstown woman with multiple fractures.

Jacob Eshelman, 19, struck a 66-year-old bicyclist with a Pontiac Sunfire near the intersection of Tadpole and Marengo roads Monday, according to a criminal complaint filed by Ferguson Township police.

While police initially said the woman had minor injures, they confirmed Tuesday that she broke bones in her ankle, leg, pelvis, ribs and vertebrae and was sent to Hershey Medical Center.

After the crash, Eshelman drove through a cornfield along Tadpole Road for about 100 yards, crashed into a tree line and fled, Ferguson Township police Chief Chris Albright said.

The vehicle, which had heavy damage to the front windshield, also had a letterman jacket with “Eshelman” written on it in the front passenger’s seat, according to the complaint.

A Centre LifeLink EMS crew member, the vehicle’s former owners, Eshelman’s former employer and Eshelman’s father all gave police a description that matched Eshelman, according to the complaint.

HitRunSuspect1
Jacob Eshelman, of Bedford County, was arrested by Ferguson Township police on Wednesday in connection to a hit-and-run early in the week. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Police found Eshelman on Wednesday after receiving a report that he was riding a bicycle on state Route 45. He admitted he was the driver who struck the woman, fled the scene, hid in the woods, broke into two camps and planned to flee the state, according to the complaint.

Eshelman was charged with one felony count of aggravated assault by vehicle, one felony count of accidents involving personal injury, three summary charges and two traffic violations.

He was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Casey McClain, who set bail at $40,000. Eshelman did not post bail and is detained at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 12.

Ferguson Township Police Chief Chris Albright talks about the hit-and-run crash on June 3.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.

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